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Trade slump weighs on local stocks

By Yu Xi (Global Times)

08:38, July 11, 2012

The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets ended with losses Tuesday, extending Monday's weak performance as customs data revealed China's imports and exports in June slowed compared with May as the country slides further into an economic downturn.

The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 6.38 points, or 0.29 percent, to close at 2,164.44; while the Shenzhen Component Index shed 19.96 points, or 0.21 percent, to finish at 9,476.72.

Both markets opened lower Tuesday due to overnight contractions in the US and European markets and wavered down through the morning session. In afternoon trading, the Shanghai Composite Index reached an intra-day low of 2,156.73 points, although a rally in media, chemical fertilizer and banking stocks gave the index a slight boost before the closing bell.

According to figures released Tuesday by the General Administration of Customs, the country's import growth rate slowed to 6.3 percent in June, down from 12.7 percent growth in May. Meanwhile, exports expanded by 11.3 percent, below the 15.3 percent growth rate recorded in May. The slowdown in trade points to both a sluggish domestic economy and a drop in global demand for Chinese goods, analysts say.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will cut gasoline prices by as much as 400 yuan ($62.82) per ton Wednesday, according to an announcement released Tuesday on its website.

The automobile sector got a lift from the news. Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd added 1.04 percent on the day to close at 4.88 yuan per share, while SAIC Motor Corp Ltd rose 1 percent to 13.09 yuan per share.


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